Countries throughout the Hindu Kush Himalayan region are working to promote sustainable development and reduce poverty. However, their national priority frameworks do not always recognize and address the particular needs of mountain populations. ICIMOD works with its regional member countries to incorporate mountain perspectives so that they can take advantage of the opportunities emerging from the rapid environmental and socioeconomic changes that are taking place in the region and in so doing increase community resilience.

Socioeconomic and environmental changes have the greatest impact on marginalized and poor people who have the least adaptive capacity to deal with them. ICIMOD recognizes that discrimination and other forms of exclusion undermine a community’s ability to manage its environment sustainably and hinder equitable access to the critical resources needed to improve livelihoods. ICIMOD will see that collaborative interventions include gender-based analysis and are inclusive at all levels.

ICIMOD has analysed and monitored vulnerability, investigated the drivers of poverty, conducted in-depth analyses of existing and emerging livelihood potentials, and promoted concrete answers in the form of niche products, value-added services, equitable access to resources and decision-making power, effective and inclusive governance, and policy options. Looking to the future, ICIMOD will concentrate on harnessing the unique opportunities that the region’s rich natural and socio-cultural diversity and associated traditional knowledge offer to help improve livelihoods; these include niche products and services, ecotourism, and migration. Particular attention will be given to upstream-downstream linkages, rural-urban linkages, the development of value chains, the service sector, market dimensions, and the role that gender plays in each of these contexts. ICIMOD will also investigate the constraints that limit the ability of mountain people, especially indigenous people, to reap the full benefits of their unique environment. 

Specifically, over the next five years ICIMOD will:

  • develop regional capacity and work to reduce vulnerability and mountain poverty to increase socioeconomic resilience;
  • explore sustainable livelihood options for both men and women, improved governance arrangements, and innovative income generation strategies;
  • generate, promote, and customize knowledge on inclusive socioeconomic adaptation strategies;
  • promote a better understanding of gender dimensions of poverty, vulnerability, and adaptation, and recommend strategies for equitable development across ICIMOD’s work; and
  • monitor and analyse the main drivers of vulnerability and poverty including migration and develop policy-relevant knowledge.


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